“Plutocrats Protected”

Steve Klein reviewing my book at Library of Law and Liberty:

Hasen tries to balance political equality with free speech and, to his credit, his legal proposals and his philosophical arguments are both far friendlier to the Constitution than those of the vast majority of campaign-finance reformers. Nevertheless, his model would still require a robust federal agency more powerful than the current Federal Election Commission to enforce its limits. Inevitably this involves the policing of speech, to a degree that is at least as draconian as—and certainly more expensive than—the current regime….

One could lodge many more objections to injecting equality-of-condition notions into constitutional law. But doing so isn’t really necessary, for Hasen’s thesis is undone by his own arguments. Under his regime, moneyed Americans would retain their nearly exclusive ability to overcome the barriers to entry erected by campaign-finance law.

And let’s be clear, this is not only a free speech problem; it is a “political equality” problem no matter how you define it. Plutocrats United is but the latest work to fail to come to terms with this dilemma. No surprise, because it is an inseverable feature of campaign-finance reform.



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